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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Still No Flash?

One of the interesting things that was not included in the announcement of the iPad yesterday was support for Flash.  It’s a nice big device, perfect for browsing the web and remote learners.  But it doesn’t have Flash support.  Apple has said in the past that they plan to support Flash at some point, but I’m beginning to wonder.

In the meantime, it seems like HTML 5 is picking up steam.

Any guesses on Flash support on Apple mobile devices going forward?

And if it’s not going to be supported, does this mean we’ll be looking at other delivery technologies going forward?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

eLearning Predictions Further Thoughts

I recently posted my Top 10 eLearning Predictions for 2010 and did a presentation on the topic.  You can access a WebEx recording of the presentation here:

Thought I’d do a quick post with some random follow-up thoughts:

Skim Long Posts

I asked at the start of the online session how many people had read my post that basically was very similar content.  There were only a few people who answered that they had.  And several who said they skimmed it.  My guess is that most everyone who saw it prior to the session had taken my advice from long ago Stop Reading - Skim Dive Skim and really just skimmed it.

Social Learning Communities

It was interesting that ASTD DC / Todd Slater has created a Ning community.  My belief is that we are going to see lots of virtual communities created as it makes sense to aggregate outside of a local geography for common interests.  That certainly goes along with what we’ve done with LearnTrends and what’s going on with social learning.

Is Mobile Learning Real This Time?

A question was asked:

There was a big interest in mobile years back and then it seemed to disappear, we will be seeing this come back?

Mobile learning a couple years ago was an attempt to put courses on mobile devices.  There are a few people out there who are claiming success doing this.  However, I think the amount of content that people will consume on mobile devices is limited. 

Instead, tools, quick reference guides, quick hit videos, etc. will be the real win.

What’s the real change though is that we are becoming used to getting content both via our computer and on our mobile device.  Thus the questions will be a bit different this time around.

We’ve come through the trough and are starting to see smart, slow growth.

Home vs. Work

I asked the audience if it was easier to get information at home or at work or about the same.  Generally people felt they had easier access at home.  This goes along with the prediction that employees will increasingly hack work so that they can get access to information and people they need to reach. 

Some comments:

  • home is better -- @ work there are blocks on our network as to what we can and can't access
  • Firewalls an issue at work
  • Work has faster connections
  • not supposed to access internet at work
  • less network security at most homes, or firewall issues
  • Firewalls at work prevent connections

Certainly the issues with access certain sites, e.g., our LearnTrends site that’s hosted by Ning, is an issue.  People end up staying home to be able to attend virtual events.  That should be a bit of a “wow”.

I ran into a post about Using Twitter at Work.  I expected it to be about how to use twitter as a knowledge worker.  Instead it was about hacking work.

If you are working for a company that falls in the first category (no social media please), its better that you install a Twitter mobile app on your cell phone and not use the office computer at all for tweeting. After all, your boss will get a web usage report at the month-end and he will easily figure out which sites have you been visiting secretly during office hours.

Fast and Okay Rather Than Slow and Good

One of the predictions I made was that we would be creating more, lower cost learning solutions.  There were a couple of great questions/comments around this:

  • Learners are trying to absorb the most amount of info in the shortest possible time
  • Fast & OK rather than Slow and Good

Well said.  There was concern around skills that take time to develop.  There will still be that kind of thing.  But the pain point for companies and for CLOs is responding to the pace and living up to the commitment that they are going to do more with less.


We had some very interesting exchange around SharePoint.  But I had to share the comment:

When I train on SharePoint, the biggest issues is that people don't understand what's possible.  They don't know how it will make their lives better.  Once they have the vision in mind, it's not too hard to use.

I really think that’s a big source of SharePoint Fear and Loathing by Learning Professionals.

I just read a great post by Dan Pontefract - SharePoint 2010: The New Employee Gateway? that explain a lot of what’s going on around SharePoint and learning organizations.

Google Wave as a Mashup?

When I was discussing Mashups and pointed to the Twitter Captivate Integration and my example of taking notes/asking questions widget, someone suggested:

Google Wave looks like it has a lot of potential for that

Great point!  I must look into Google Wave as the basis for social interaction that goes along with a course.  It’s instant threaded discussion.  Can I easily mash it with a course?  Maybe not yet, but soon.


You had to be there – was very glad there were a couple of people who understood me. :)

Open Courseware

Turns out that a lot of folks are not familiar with what’s going on around this.

Virtual Worlds

Great comment:

Your number #1 point was how busy everyone is, who has time for virtual worlds???

I agree that access of virtual worlds needs to be as simple as getting into a WebEx session.  The barrier is a bit too high right now for mainstream.  But it’s amazing that WebEx doesn’t have avatars for participants or any sense of space.  I’ve given up on my predictions of a 2.5D virtual world, WebEx type product.  But it will happen at some point.  It won’t take any more time than what we currently have.  And it will make you feel much more part of the event.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SharePoint Templates for Academic Departments

One of my Top 10 eLearning Predictions for 2010 was “Lots of SharePoint”.  I received the following inquiry in between the time I finished writing my predictions and when it went live:

I found your post, SharePoint Examples, regarding finding others using SP in training organizations.  I have recently been charged to lead a team to assist with the design, look, feel and governance of our existing SP deployment.  I work at a University and one of our first task’s is to work on a template that might meet 80% of an Academic Departments needs.  Things like a policy and procedures, meeting agenda, budget, etc. I’m wondering in your search if you’ve come across others who  may have created a more customized template that better suits the needs of a department vs the out of the box templates that you might be able to share.

This is an example of a kind of request that is going to happen quite a bit.  I actually don’t know where to find templates that might go behind the kinds of use cases that I discuss in Using SharePoint or that is described above.  In fact, I don’t believe these are even called templates, so …

What would you call what this person is looking for?

How would this person find SharePoint templates that they could use / modify for their purposes?

Please help.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Value of an Online Degree

Related to my recent post about eLearning Certifications, someone went back through some of my older related posts such as eLearning Certification, Online Degrees Get No Respect and particularly: Lower Value of Online Degree Programs and asked:  

I am curious, now that things have changed over the last three years, where do you stand with online degrees, specifically, WSAC (regionally) accredited online PhD degrees?

Don't you think that a person with an accredited PhD and has real world experience should be a top candidate versus a PhD who has been going to school for the last 10 years?

It’s great to have someone willing to call you out.  They are likely referencing my statement back in 2006:

I personally hire mostly folks with undergraduate degrees and mostly they are technical. I look at the individual first and foremost - but that said - I definitely am looking for an undergraduate degree from an in-person program first and foremost. For graduate programs, I probably have less of a bias and I would value an online graduate degree from a bigger name higher than an in-person from a local, lesser name program. That said, I still would value the in-person higher than the online for the same university. Given my passion around distance learning, it's a bit weird to admit this bias. But, I wonder if this isn't shared and that people should be aware of it?

My thinking has definitely changed over the past few years, but if I’m being honest, I still value an in-person degree a little bit higher.  But look closely.  If going for an online degree allows you to attend a better program, then that ranks higher than a lower quality but local degree. 

Also the person asking the question also asked about “real world experience” combined with a degree, e.g., a PhD.  Of course, that’s going to come in above someone who has no real world experience.   And since a lot of people who are doing online degrees are also working, there’s a lot to be said for finding a quality program online and attending while you are working.

In our field, that may have even higher value as the experience of having attended a quality online program likely will give you a leg up.  As an example take a look at: Discussion Forums for Knowledge Sharing at Capital City Bank.  Becky really learned how to have effective online discussions by going through a great experience herself.

All that said – my guess is that there’s still bias – even three years later.

What do you think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Top 10 eLearning Predictions for 2010

Before I start with any of my actual predictions, let me throw in an overall prediction that the year is going to start off slow for most people, but by the end of the year, we will all be thinking:

“Wow, 2010 was a crazy year!”

When I say that, keep in mind that 90% of what workplace learning is all about will be basically unchanged this year. It’s mostly going to be the same – as it always is. But when I do these predictions, I focus on the stuff that’s part of the bigger trends and the potential that these trends have for impacting workplace learning professionals especially around the impact that technology will have.

Also, before you read these, you might want to go back and look at predictions in the past and how well I did on those predictions: Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008, 12 eLearning Predictions for 2009. Some of my predictions are home runs and, well, sometimes I get things wrong. I even have been known to contradict myself from year to year. So, viewer discretion is advised.

If you are interested in this, I will be doing a Virtual Presentation – Ten eLearning Predictions for 2010 that will be closely aligned with this post.

Also – I’m asking for a bit of help at the bottom to identify Prediction #10. So, I’ll likely be updating this post based on both the presentation and the help I get. And probably will get some more ideas from the Big Question - Predictions and Plans for 2010.

Prediction #1 => Hacking Work

At this time last year, I did my series Tool Set 2009. It puts forward lots of suggestions for how knowledge workers can leverage technology to make themselves more effective. It somewhat codifies what I discuss around Work Literacy – although there’s much more to it. I actually think this is some of the most valuable stuff on my blog, and I believe that most knowledge workers are not really taking advantage of this at the level they should. One of the common reasons I hear from knowledge workers inside large organizations for not following the suggestions I provide is that the organization itself puts up barriers to working this way. I somewhat wonder how much of that is true barriers as opposed to perceived barriers, and a recent HBR item talked about Hacking Work:

When a 12-year-old can gather information faster, process it more efficiently, reference more diverse professionals, and get volunteer guidance from better sources than you can at work, how can you pretend to be competitive? When the personal tools in your mobile phone are more empowering than what your company provides or approves for your projects, how can you be saved from devastating market forces? You can’t.

The tools we use in life have leapfrogged over the ones we use at work. Business’s lingering love of bureaucracy, process, and legacy technology has fallen completely out of sync with what people need to do their best.

So what can you do? Hack work, and embrace the others in your midst who care enough to do so.

The example they cite sounds like actually hacking – but I believe that we are going to see more and more employees taking initiative to end run the barriers in order to leverage networks, communities, and tools that extend beyond the boundaries of the organization. Lots of managers will choose to look the other way.

Update - Saw a great post about Using Twitter at Work:

If you are working for a company that falls in the first category (no social media please), its better that you install a Twitter mobile app on your cell phone and not use the office computer at all for tweeting. After all, your boss will get a web usage report at the month-end and he will easily figure out which sites have you been visiting secretly during office hours.

Hacking work!

Predictions #2 => Convergence Ramps Up Big Time

The recent Morgan Stanley Mobile Internet Report that I discussed in Mobile Internet Apple Facebook is really labeled wrong. What it’s really talking about is convergence. They say its about:

5 Trends Converging (3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices)

The growth of mobile devices has been amazing. Consider just the iPhone + iTouch:


But convergence is about mobile computing devices – Smartphone, Kindle, Tablet, MP3, Cell Phone, PDA, Car Electronics and other kinds of computing devices like home entertainment, home appliances. I recently bought a new wireless router and realized that I had a lot of devices in my home (PS3, Wii, Laptops, iPhones) all needing to be given access.


Add to this VOIP/Skype, 3G and what’s happening with video on demand. If you have a DVR, it’s fascinating to see what’s going on with movies on demand and video on demand.

Add to this the fact that everyone is online and connected all the time. They have more capture devices running around. And capture is moving towards video and audio. It’s really big and moving really fast.

During 2010, this will actually have much more impact outside of learning solutions and particularly workplace learning solutions. Yet, there will be lots of eLearning solutions aiming at these alternative platforms.

For most workplace eLearning the implication of this is that we are going to be getting asked a lot more about whether content will be accessible and work on other devices, e.g., mobile web access, home access, etc.

However, for people who are in the business of learning solutions, there are going to be growing opportunities to differentiate with content and solutions accessible from more devices.

Now, for the pessimists out there – Do you remember back to the really early days of the web? It was the time when we delivered multimedia training on CD-ROMs (sometimes called CBTs)? Do you remember the horrific feeling when you learned what it was going to take to author something to run over the web? That you couldn’t really do audio or video or much of anything else over the web? And the first experiences as you tried to move your Authorware, IconAuthor or Toolbook course to run using their new web delivery solution? It was terrible! It was a major step back.

Welcome to the mobile internet / convergence. It’s going to get a lot of attention this year, but it’s going to feel like a burden to most workplace learning professionals.

Prediction #3 => More, Lower Cost Learning Solutions

One safe prediction every year (see Trends in Learning) and in 2010 is that the following will increase:

  • Pace of change in your business
  • Complexity of jobs, roles, information

And in 2010, the following will decrease:

  • Your budget to create learning solutions
  • Time you have to create learning solutions
  • Time people have to participate in your learning solutions
  • Number of people that need any one specific learning solutions.

I know this doesn’t make sense. People need to learn more, learn faster – yet the C-Level (including your CLO) seem to be making moves that are counter to that. To back this up, a recent CLO Magazine Look at the Industry in 2010 gave us:

  • More than two-thirds of CLOs expect their organizations to do more training in 2010
  • 74% report that the quality of their training offerings will improve in the next year
  • Less than 35% expect budget increases

Keep in mind that this is what your boss then is promising to the rest of the organization. Essentially telling the CEO – we’ll produce more and better quality – but it’s not going to cost any more. And as the saying goes - “it flows downhill from there.”

How will organizations actually execute on this? For a lot of training offerings they will look to keep costs very low – build it fast and inexpensively. Better may be defined as faster in this case.

So in 2010, you are going to be asked to produce faster, lower cost learning solutions. The good news is that the tools and software become easier to use all the time. You can use Flip Video cameras to do quick capture. You capture the expert and play it back. It can be pretty fast to do that and really doesn’t cost much. You will produce a lot more as web/wiki pages instead of course pages. And when you produce courses, in a lot of cases you’ll stick with what the authoring tools give you out of the box. The nice thing is that the tools from Articulate and Adobe have really matured to the point where you can do a lot quickly and without too many problems.

The other part of this is that your total output is going to be expected to increase. Organizations will need you to shift a it towards Corporate Learning Long Tail and Attention Crisis and Long Tail Learning - Size and Shape.


One possibly good side product will be that total learner hours shouldn’t be a primary metric. If you want to optimize total learner hours, then you make long courses aimed at lots of employees. That’s contrary to what the organization really needs. Time to performance and other metrics will be far more important as a result.

But the most immediate impact is that you will be constantly seeking faster, lower cost, good enough learning solutions.

Prediction #4 => Social Learning Grows But Becomes More Specific

In 2009, we talked a lot about social learning. 2010 is going to be a year that we will see social learning grow, but likely not called social learning as much as referring to it by a whole lot of other terms.

When I suggested that everyone should “be a Jack” (see Selling Learning Communities – Not Everyone Will or Wants a Group), the reason was that when Jack talks about social learning and communities, he doesn’t talk about it using any of those terms. Instead, he would ask - “If I could bring together experts and expertise and facilitate a conversation on X and then help capture that – is that something you’d want.” Of course, I do.

Similarly, when HP provided a social learning solution aimed at helping marketing professionals across the organization better understand what Web 2.0 means to the organization, they created a solution that was as much a research project as it was a learning solution. They really became a partner with marketing. A lot like Jack. They didn’t really use the language of social learning. They talked about the specific solution.

I do think the language of communities and networks and community manager are going to get a lot of attention and grow in importance as a knowledge sharing and learning solution. For example, Harold Jarche tells us 2010: Year of the CM.

One of the kind of specific social learning solutions that is going to grow in importance are virtual meetings, virtual conferences and related online discussions. Given the ability to rally expertise from across the globe, it really makes a lot of sense to address challenging work problems by forming quick, virtual discussions that draw on that expertise. How can I address X? Reach out to form an online discussion around the topic. In Jack’s case, he mostly does this inside the organization, but we’ll see even more of it that crosses organizational boundaries. See Learning Community, Peers and Outside Experts for a very interesting model around this.

As learning professionals, I believe we have a special, specific responsibility around social learning. As such, we really need to grow skills in this area:

  • Participating in lots of social learning opportunities to better understand them and to grow our social learning skills
  • Identifying opportunities for and designing social learning solutions
  • Learning to be a Jack (sell social learning based on specifics and specific business value)

One of the things that really sticks with me from 2009 was how Becky Barch’s Discussion Forums for Knowledge Sharing at Capital City Bank really came out of her social learning experiences at FSU. She learned how to be an effective participant and this helped propel her to become a designer. We need to find lots of opportunities for ourselves and then we need to look at how to move those skills into our organizations.

Prediction #5 => Lots of SharePoint

This prediction is somewhat simple to make:

  • Many organizations have SharePoint installed and IT will install more of it.
  • SharePoint 2010 looks to be a much better product (think Windows 3.1 – third major version by Microsoft)
  • Social learning (or specific implementations) are going to grow in importance

Seems to make it pretty clear to me. We can either continue to have SharePoint Fear and Loathing by Learning Professionals or we can spend time to understand Using SharePoint.

While I’m discussing SharePoint, I believe that SharePoint LMS solutions and integration of SharePoint social solutions with LMS products will gain attention this year.

Prediction #6 => More Examples of Mashups and Add-ons to Extend Simple Self-Paced eLearning

Prediction #5 is a slam dunk. This one is a bit more of stretch.

In December, I mentioned an interesting example of Twitter Captivate Integration. It basically adds a social element to a Captivate movie.

For years, we’ve used a simple question solution into self-paced eLearning offerings in order to take advantage of social learning. These were commonly answered during scheduled office hours associated with the course. This is a kind of mashup as well.

There have been a couple of products in the market that provide this kind of add-on for self-paced eLearning.

Prediction #7 => Major Merger LMS + Talent Management Vendors

Back in 2008, I talked about The Rise and Fall of the LMS as larger LMS vendors moved away from learning management towards talent management and human capital management. As the job market starts to come back and as the C-suite takes more notice of human capital, talent management and performance management, the broader suite approach will become desirable. Thus, the large vendors coming out of the talent management side (recruiting, performance reviews) will naturally look to combine with large traditional learning management vendors.

I expect to see some major mergers this year.

A few other LMS predictions -

  • The bottom end of the market will continue to be eaten away by open source solutions and hosted open source solutions.
  • SaaS will dominate
  • SharePoint integration with Learning Management will be a big topic.

Prediction #8 => Turmoil in Learning Organizations

What happens as the divide increases between the digitally literate workplace learning professional and the traditionalist workplace learning professional? I’m seeing this divide all the time, but it’s far more complex that two camps. The range of learning solutions that we consider are becoming broader and more complex. Look back at eLearning Strategy and the myriad of solutions that we need to Be Ready to Take Advantage of Opportunities.

Yet most large organizations find themselves with widely varying knowledge and skills among workplace learning professionals. Most of this is grown through ad hoc learning (just like I’m suggesting in my earlier prediction on Social Learning). So any group of workplace learning professionals will naturally have differences in what they should offer, how they should prepare, what makes sense for them as an organization.

I actually think this turmoil will be good. In 2010, CLOs should foster a growth of skills in a wide spectrum of different kinds of learning solutions even though that will create inevitable turmoil. Everyone can’t be good at everything. Productive debate is going to be good. As long as there’s a spirit of openness to alternative solutions then we can collectively help the organization move forward.

Embrace having your workplace learning professionals go look at:

  • Hacking Work and Work Literacy
  • Social Learning
  • Communities and Networks
  • Community Management
  • Add Ons and Mashups
  • SharePoint

not to mention all of he other elements talked about in eLearning Strategy.

Prediction #9 => Open Content

I’m not sure why this already hasn’t had a bigger impact, but workplace learning is going to start to catch up on the value of OCW and OER.

Just visit the OER Commons and Open Courseware Consortium. Do a search on something like “instructional design”. Drill down a bit and there are some incredible resources.

Prediction #10 => Help Needed

I’ve really not decided what I’m going to make my 10th prediction for the year.

Here are some of the things I’ve considered:

Content Management, but not Learning Content Management

As we move towards having more of our content outside of traditional courseware and as we take advantage of content that we are not producing ourselves, we are going to find that there are lots of problems keeping that content in good shape. What happens when a link is broken? How do we know what and where the content is?

Alternate User Interfaces

I believe voice, touch and motion are going to be big topics this year. As is the fact that we need to design for the User Interface Beyond the Web Site.

Cloud Computing / SaaS

We are slowly moving towards computing as a service (cloud computing), platform as a service and software as a service.

Alternate Reality

The innovations with simple alternate reality interfaces are quite remarkable and the potential for learning solutions, especially with things like retail are great.

Virtual Worlds

I still think this is a bit premature, but is going to be really big, especially as part of social learning. But it has to become simpler for mainstream usage.

Information Overload

This is probably the biggest and most interesting topic out there. In a world of full connectivity to all information and all people, how do you handle filtering. I actually think that things like social signals and information filtering is going to be one of the most active topics this year.

Semantic Web

There are some really interesting things happening around adding semantic metadata to web pages and elements on web pages. Further, there are lots of interesting things going on that allow us to better access and understand what the web is telling us. It allows things like social filtering. Again, something that I believe is fundamentally huge and important.

Freemium and Hybrid Business Models

Last year, I spent a fair bit of time looking at the business of learning. It’s a bit scary for people who are primarily content vendors. They need to swim upstream to differentiate. However, I believe this also means that there will be all sorts of new business models that we will get glimpses of in 2010.

Help Me =>

None of these seem to really rise to the level of the other 9. So what would you suggest I make my prediction #10? Did I miss something?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

eLearning Certifications

I received an interesting and probably fairly important question. I believe this person represents a fair number of individuals who work in the world of workplace training / learning.

I am a Senior Organizational Development and Training Specialist based in San Diego, CA. I came across your blog today searching for certification programs in the area of eLearning and/or Web Based Training Design. I have about 6 years of experience of classroom training but my company has been reluctant to give us any kind of exposure to web based training or make any real changes to this effective training medium. I know that to secure my future in this field, I must gain some more knowledge in this area on my own.

So I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on some credible, relatively affordable programs that provide certification in eLearning or Web Based Training Design. Any information you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Kudos to this person for not allowing the limitations of their organization limit what they are going to learn. That said, those limits will certainly make it more challenging to find a good choice around eLearning Certifications. Let’s try to help them out.

When I asked about this last time in eLearning Certification, some of the responses:

Also, check out Certification Magazine for many options.

I’m sure there are a lot more programs out there at this point. And a myriad of online degree programs.

I also think it would make a lot of sense to look at some of the recent discussions about certifications and degrees in instructional design. Here are some quick findings via eLearning Learning – particularly I looked at best of pages around: instructional design, eLearning Certification and did queries around degrees, etc. Some really good reading…

Monday, January 11, 2010

Virtual Presentation – Ten eLearning Predictions for 2010

I’m still working on my yearly post that is my eLearning Predictions.  That will be coming out shortly.  In the meantime, I’ve been invited to do a virtual presentation for ASTD DC on this topic.  The organizer will give preference to his local members, but will let other folks attend who contact him.  Here’s the information:

Ten eLearning Predictions for 2010

To kick off the new year, Dr. Tony Karrer is sharing some thoughts on what's going to be happening in the world of eLearning in 2010. Back in 2006, Tony was talking about eLearning 2.0 and it's long term impact on workplace learning.  What will be similar kinds of key issues that we need to be aware of in 2010?

Tony promises to deliver a fast-paced, interactive discussion that will look at trends around social and informal learning, mobile, authoring, learning management systems, and others.  Come participate in what promises to be a fun session.

This event will be held via the web on Thursday January 21 from 2:45 – 4:00 Eastern. It is being hosted by the local DC Chapter of ASTD’s Technology Learning Group. If you are interested in attending, please contact Todd Slater at for webinar information. 

About the Presenter:

Dr. Tony Karrer is an expert on innovative uses of technology that improves human performance.  He is a sought after presenter on Web 2.0’s impact on knowledge work and workplace learning. He is author of the award-winning eLearning Technology blog, creator of eLearning Learning, and founder of Work Literacy.

Dr. Karrer’s experience is diverse including initial CTO of eHarmony, associate professor of Computer Science, and consultant to Credit Suisse, Citibank, Lexus, Microsoft, Nissan, Universal, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun, Symbol Technologies and many others. He was valedictorian and attended USC as a Tau Beta Pi fellow, one of the top 30 engineers in the U.S. where he received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Information Filtering

Harold Jarche posted Business models looking back and forward where he looks at various trends and implications on business opportunities.  One of the main points he makes is:

In early 2010 it is pretty obvious that nobody needs an other Web portal.

I both agree and disagree.  He’s right.  No one really wants another web portal.  We’ve got plenty of information sources already.  At the same time, we need lots of help filtering the flood of information.  Harold is a master of that and effectively uses twitter, RSS reader and lots of other sources to bring across and filter information.

My strong belief is that there is more and more of a need for effective information filtering.  Basically, easy ways to get the information that you want or need.  Heck, a lot of what learning professionals do is filter information.

Harold is comfortable with small pieces, loosely joined as a means of filtering.  My belief is that there’s a fairly large population that will get value from what are essentially portals that take advantage of social signals (a powerful information filtering mechanism).  That’s somewhat the whole point behind eLearning Learning.

Professionals who don’t have time to try to find, subscribe, read all of the various blogs and other sources can look to a portal like eLearning Learning (and particularly it’s Best Of emails) as a means of getting a filtered set of all of this.

Of course, there’s so much more to defining what someone particularly needs.  This filtering is horribly crude and will get much better over the years.  But since a lot of what a portal can bring is information filtering – I’m not quite so ready to sign up with Harold’s assertion.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Time to Performance

There have already been some great contributions to this month’s big question – Predictions and Plans for 2010.  I was reading Jay Cross’ response and one of his predictions:

Faster, faster, faster, real time. Time-to-performance becomes the new metric.

It’s funny to see that term again.  I thought that Time-to-performance was going to be the key metric back in 2002.  When I was working with various high tech, insurance and financial services companies – a key ingredient was how quickly people could effectively roll-out new products, policies, respond to competitive threats, etc.  It really was about how quickly you can become proficient on all the new stuff.  It was about Time to Performance.

Granted there are still core skills that will need to be developed in other ways (see Does Deliberative Practice Lead to Quick Proficiency for a bit of discussion around that).  Still a lot of what we talk about with informal learning, performance support, etc. is how we can make people perform quickly.  Or at least have the appearance of expertise (see  Expert Level Answers via Social Networks as one way to appear to be expert).

Still since the last time this term and related metrics never really took off, I’m curious what people think.

Is Time to Performance really going to get traction in 2010?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Custom LMS Anymore?

Happy new year.  I took some time off from blogging over the holidays.  I’m just now getting back into the swing of things.  To help me get moving, I just posted Storyboard Templates and iPhones – Best of December 2009 over on eLearning Learning.  Some great content posted back in December that I need to go back and review.

I’m hoping that folks might be able to help someone who just sent me a question. 

This is a company that sells mostly compliance training to the healthcare market (Hospitals, healthcare practices, individual physicians etc…).  They have a licensed LMS, but want to move away from it and build a custom LMS that meets their specific needs.

Their questions:

1. What are some features that they might not be thinking about that people will be asking for in the near future?  In their words, “what is the need of the hour”?

2. Is it a good idea to start with an open source LMS?  Their team strength is principally .NET, ASP 2.0.  Are there  any open source LMS on those technologies?

And my question:

3. Does it make that much sense to build a custom LMS anymore?  I’ve seen it numerous times, but I feel like some of the low cost LMS or rapid LMS solutions would make more sense?

Appreciate any thoughts you have on this.